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High‐throughput screening of optimal process conditions using model predictive control

Krausch, Niels; Kim, Jong Woo; Barz, Tilman; Lucia, Sergio; Groß, Sebastian; Huber, Matthias C.; Schiller, Stefan M.; Neubauer, Peter; Cruz Bournazou, Mariano N.

Modern biotechnological laboratories are equipped with advanced parallel mini‐bioreactor facilities that can perform sophisticated cultivation strategies (e.g., fed‐batch or continuous) and generate significant amounts of measurement data. These systems require not only optimal experimental designs that find the best conditions in very large design spaces, but also algorithms that manage to operate a large number of different cultivations in parallel within a well‐defined and tightly constrained operating regime. Existing advanced process control algorithms have to be tailored to tackle the specific issues of such facilities such as: a very complex biological system, constant changes in the metabolic activity and phenotypes, shifts of pH and/or temperature, and metabolic switches, to name a few. In this study we implement a model predictive control (MPC) framework to demonstrate: (1) the challenges in terms of mathematical model structure, state, and parameter estimation, and optimization under highly nonlinear and stiff dynamics in biological systems, (2) the adaptations required to enable the application of MPC in high throughput bioprocess development, and (3) the added value of MPC implementations when operating parallel mini‐bioreactors aiming to maximize the biomass concentration while coping with hard constrains on the dissolved oxygen tension profile.
Published in: Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 10.1002/bit.28236, Wiley